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Commissioners Court recognizes Sept. 29 as Booker T. Washington Day

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

The Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a proclamation Tuesday morning to acknowledge Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, as Booker T. Washington Day in Travis County. The date reflects the 107th anniversary of Washington’s historic speech before an audience of 5,000 at Wooldridge Square on Sept. 29, 1911. Washington was invited by A.P. Wooldridge, who was mayor of Austin from 1909 to 1919. Initially, Washington planned to speak at the Texas State Capitol but was prevented by segregation laws. Commissioner Jeff Travillion noted the present significance of the historic visit. “Hopefully this will lead us to study the times, the person and what significant challenges we had at that time, because he wasn’t allowed to speak at the Capitol, so that we can understand the times why communities have or have not grown as they should have,” he said. Booker T. Washington Day is the result of collaborative effort between the Travis County Historical Commission, Downtown Austin Alliance’s Our Austin Story, Friends of Wooldridge Square and Austin History Center.

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